Do home solar panels make sense in Fairfield, California?

Summary:

The median price of a 6 kilowatt home solar system in Fairfield is about  $10,644.
That 6 kW system would generate about  $1,873 worth of electricity every year.
In 2019, you can qualify for a  30% federal tax credit. In California, there are additional solar rebates available.
There are at least  20,813 homes in Buffalo with solar panels.
Learn more

Table of Contents:



How much do solar panels cost in Fairfield, CA?

The average cost per watt of residential solar in California is $4/watt. For comparison, the national average is $3.70/watt.

Cost per watt is the total installed cost of a system, including taxes, divided by the size of the system in watts (DC). It includes the cost of hardware plus installation costs. Cost per watt is always the gross cost, before incentives. This means, at a minimum, you can take 30% off the price of the system in 2019 because of federal tax incentives.

The cost of a solar panel system for your house in Fairfield will depend on how much electricity you want to generate, which affects the size of the system you’ll need. The following is an example price estimate for a home solar panel system in Fairfield, with an electricity generation estimate based on the local climate and the following assumptions:

• 554 kWh is the amount of electricity that the average California home uses every month.
• 3.90 kilowatts is the size of the system you’ll need to generate 100% of this electricity from solar panels.
• 10 to 15 panels is what that translates to (depending on panel efficiency, which commonly ranges from 260 watts to 400 watts)
• Panels oriented due south and mounted on a shade-free roof at a 30° angle.

Gross system price$15,205This is the price of your system plus taxes but before incentives, based on an average cost of solar in your state of $4 per watt.
Federal tax credit of 30%$4,562The most important solar incentive in the nation, the federal solar tax credit, gives homeowners 30% off the cost of their system in 2019. It drops to 26% next year. Read more
Net system price:$10,644

This estimate is based on averages but your home, of course, may be different. For a personalized estimate, grab a copy of your utility bill and use our calculator to plug in the numbers for your home.



Can you save money with solar panels in Fairfield, CA?

Every year, that hypothetical Fairfield home solar system described above would produce about $1,873 worth of electricity. This is based on the California state average price of electricity of $0.18/kWh and the average local climate.

This estimate assumes that your home uses an average amount of electricity, but your needs may be different. In addition, if you have some shade on your panels during the day, that can drop your production by a lot and require more panels to make up the difference.



Houses in Fairfield with solar panels

According to our data from various local agencies, there are at least 2,673 homes in Fairfield that have solar panels installed. This means a lot of your neighbors have looked into solar and decided that it’s a smart choice for them. If you add up the total generating capacity of these solar panel systems, you get a total of 11,892 kilowatts of solar electricity that is being sent into your local electricity grid.

If you’re trying to decide if solar is right for you, this is good news. Having a lot of solar homes means that you will have more local contractors to choose from. You can also feel more confident about going solar, because many of your neighbors in Fairfield have already decided that solar is a smart choice for them.



Solar panels directly turn sunlight into electricity, so the more sunlight you have, the more power that a solar panel system will generate. However, one misconception is that solar panels only work in very sunny climates. While it’s true that you will generate more electricity in a sunny state like Arizona, you might be surprised to learn that solar can generate plenty of electricity in most places in the United States - even cloudier places like New England or the Northwest.



Fairfield solar energy potential

To make a fair comparison of how much sunlight different cities get, we use a measurement called Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI). It takes into account the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year, cloud cover, airborne particulates, precipitation, and other climate variables.

The DNI for Fairfield is 6.62, which means that it has excellent solar potential.

6.62

In Fairfield, you’ll generate a lot of solar electricity throughout the year, which helps to shorten the amount of time is takes for a solar panel system to pay for itself.

In the continental United States, DNI ranges from about 3.0 to 8.5 kWh/m2/day. In the most northern parts of Alaska, the DNI reaches a low of 0.5.

A higher DNI is better, but even if your city is average or even below average for the US, it’s still possible for solar panels to generate plenty of power. For example, solar is very popular in Germany, where the DNI is only around 2.5.

This DNI data comes from GEOS geostationary satellite data and NREL climate models.

Fairfield
US low
US high

In some climates, you’ll see a big difference in sunlight and solar electricity generation from summer to winter. These charts show you what to expect in Fairfield.

Solar Energy by Month (DNI)


The graph below estimates how much a 6 kilowatt south-facing solar panel system would generate in Fairfield.

Power Generation by Month (kWh)


In Fairfield, the electricity production from solar panels will vary by a fair amount seasonally. In an average year, your power generation will be 215% higher in the peak month compared to the lowest production month in winter. This is about average for the United States. It means that you should expect to use some grid electricity in the winter, and send excess solar electricity to the grid in the summer.



Fairfield, CA solar companies

This is a list of solar home installations we know about within the city limits of Fairfield, CA.

# of homes refers to the number of installations by the installer in the Fairfield area that we have a record of. It’s possible that the installer has done more installations in the local area.
Total kW installed is the cumulative solar generation capacity of all the residential installations by the installer in Fairfield.
Year of the most recent install is the most recent record of work done by the installer in Fairfield. This lets you know if the company is active in the area, or hasn’t done work in some time (or even gone out of business).
Installer# of homesTotal kW installedYear of most recent install
1ST LIGHT SOLAR ENERGY182014
A1 GUARANTEED HEATING & AC3122016
A1 SOLAR POWER261142016
ACR SOLAR INTERNATIONAL CORP142016
AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC102016
AKEENA4232010
ALL BAY SOLAR122013
ALL IN ONE152014
ALL ON ELECTRIC3112016
ALL SOLAR ELECTRIC172015
ALTER SYSTEMS1152010
AMERICAN ARRAY SOLAR5122016
AMERICAN HOME CRAFT452009
AMERICAN SOLAR DIRECT3212015
ANTHONY J DURST CONSTRUCTION1102016
ARCHBOLD ELECTRIC152014
AZTEC SOLAR4232016
BAY AREA SOLAR SOLUTIONS152009
BELL BROTHERS4162016
BEULTER CORP2132012
BEYOND OIL112005
BORREGO SOLAR292006
BP SOLAR122010
BRIGHT LIGHT ELECTRIC282015
BRIGHT PLANET SOLAR142016
BRITE ENERGY10542015
BROWER MECHANICAL182017
C.J. SOLAR INC.172006
CALIFORNIA SOLAR SYSTEMS3112016
CALIFORNIA SUNROOMS5122012
CANOPY ENERGY4102016
CAPITAL CITY SOLAR3162016
CAPITAL REMODEL & DESIGN152016
CJ SOLAR152009
CLEANFOCUS ENERGY192016
COMPLETE SOLAR6362016
COMPLETE SOLAR SOLUTION8422016
COOL EARTH SOLAR162016
CORONA SOLAR6352016
CR RESOURCE CONTRACTING152014
D A SOLAR INC142014
DA SOLAR182014
DIABLO SOLAR SERVICES11662016
DUNBARR ELECTRIC & SOLAR142009
ECO STRATEGIES172012
ELEMENT ELECTRIC6332016
ELEMENT ELECTRIC INC162016
ELITE ELECTRIC172015
ENERGY REMODELING2102016
ENERGY RESOLUTIONS142015
ENERGY SAVING PROS CONSTRUCTION6392016
ENERGYSEAL, INC172015
ENVER ENERGY IMPROVEMENT3162016
ENVER SOLAR122015
ES ELECTRICAL CONSRUCITON INC.102010
EXSOLARENT ENERGY GROUP4132012
FIDELITY HOME ENERGY19532016
FIDELITY ROOF COMPANY172014
FOUR PHASE ENERGY132015
FRALICK HOMES13772015
FREE ENERGY SYSTEM2102015
FREEDOM SOLAR172017
FUTURE ENERGY CORP853462016
GAYLER CONSRUCTION24402014
GB ENERGY162015
GBS INDUSTRIES162005
GCI SOLAR6342016
GENERAL TELEMETRY & ELECTRIC172017
GLOBAL HV/AC AND CONSTRUCTION162014
GLOBAL RESOURCE OPTIONS2122010
GOLDEN STATE COMFORT SYSTEMS122010
GREEN DRAGON SOLAR282007
GREEN NRG162016
GREEN SOCK SOLAR152013
GREEN STOCK SOLAR4282016
GREEN WOLF ELECTRIC & SOLAR162016
GREG GAYLER CONSTRUCTION CO262015
GREINER HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING19672016
GRID ALTERNATIVES4102015
HARMONY FARM SUPPLY142006
HAWES HEATING & AIR SOLAR2122010
HELIOPOWER182012
HIGH DEDINITION SOLAR42722016
HIGH DEFINITION SOLAR5122016
HOMERUN SOLAR152016
HOOKED ON SOLAR3172016
HORIZON SOLAR POWER162017
IES RESIDENTIAL142013
INFINITY ENERGY5172017
JAJ ROOFING162016
K DESIGNERS142016
KOLOB CONSTRUCTION192013
KURIOS ENEREGY162016
LUMINA TECHNOLOGY132003
MAGIC SUN SOLAR3202016
MARIN SOLAR6382011
NEW DIMENSION ROOFING3182014
NEXT ENERGY4282013
NEXT ENERGY CORPORATION122005
NEXUS ENERGY SYSTEMS2122016
NOR CAL HOME IMPROVEMENTS4182016
NORTH BAY SOLAR ELECTRIC292016
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ROOFING COMPANY2122015
NORTHERN PACIFIC POWER SYSTEMS132014
NORTHWEST EXTERIORS142016
NRG CLEAN POWER272017
OHMIC ELECTRIC182013
ONE ROOF ENERGY132014
PARAMOUNT ENERGY SOLUTIONS2132013
PARAMOUNT CONSTRUCTION162015
PEAK POWER SOLUTIONS162016
PETERSENDEAN1956752017
POWER INDEPENDENCE ELECTRIC162005
PREMIER POWER INC122007
QUALITY FIRST HOME IMPROVEMENT8212016
QUALITY HOME RENOVATORS242013
QUICK SYSTEMS132015
RAMIREZ GROUP142013
RCI SOLAR162016
REAL CONSTRUCTION152014
REAL GOODS ENERGY TECH142012
REAL GOODS INC292013
REAL GOODS MARIN SOLAR262011
REC SOLAR20862014
RENEWABLE ELECTRIC11642016
REVOLVE SOLAR CA441782016
REYFF ELECTRIC112009
RGS/REAL GOODS7302015
RIGHT NOW AIR & SOLAR9272016
ROBERT'S SOLAR6232013
ROOFMASTERS3202016
SAVE A LOT SOLAR242015
SCP SOLAR & GREEN CONSTRUCTION182010
SEGWAY CONSULTANTS142009
SELF18862016
SEMPER SOLARIS3142016
SEPAC ENERGY SYSTEMS142013
SIERRA PACIFIC HOME & COMFORT10562015
SIMPLY SOLAR3132017
SKY POWER SYSTEMS2212015
SKYLINE ENERGY262016
SMART ENERGY USA3162013
SNOW SOLAR SYSTEMS2142004
SOLAR AND WIND HYBRID SYSTEM162016
SOLAR COMPANY402022016
SOLAR CONSTRUCTION SERVICEING CENTER172015
SOLAR ENERGY DESIGNS252015
SOLAR FIRST DBA FIRST PV272016
SOLAR NETWORK INC122011
SOLAR SENSE PV182011
SOLAR SERVICE CENTER3152015
SOLAR SOURCE172010
SOLAR TECHNOLOGIES3262016
SOLAR UNITED NETWORK INC172012
SOLAR UNIVERSE171232017
SOLARCITY5442,8342016
SOLARCO271242016
SOLARCRAFT2122010
SOLARON2102014
SOLARPENINSULA2112016
SOLATRON TECHNOLOGIES122005
SOLCIUS282016
SOLECTRIC142016
SONRAY CONSTRUCTION6372015
SOUTH COAST ELECTRICAL2122016
SOUTH WEST SUN SOLAR272016
SPECTRUM SOLAR WINDS152012
SPG SOLAR5202009
SST CONSTRUCTION152016
SUN AMERICA SOLAR2112016
SUN FIRST2122015
SUN LIGHT & POWER162015
SUN METRICS262016
SUN METRICS ONE162014
SUN POWER & GEOTHERMAL132002
SUNCREST SOLAR3132016
SUNGATE ENERGY30452014
SUNGEVITY532632016
SUNLIT ENERGY142015
SUNON ENERGY7382016
SUNON SOLAR162016
SUNPOWER2284092017
SUNRISE SOLAR ROOFING2122016
SUNRUN1105922017
SUNTIME ENERGY162016
SYNERGY 768 INC.4212016
SYNERGY CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS442013
SYNTOL PLUMBING ELECTRICAL HEATING & AIR16742016
SYNTROL SOLAR17722016
SYNTROL PLUMBING5162016
TALBOT SOLAR2172008
TEAM SOLAR7512006
TESLA241322017
THE SOLAR CO122016
THERN ELECTRIC & SOLAR1162015
THREE D ELECTRIC2102010
TRILLA ASSOCIATES122001
UTILITY CONSERVATION SERVICES152007
V3 ELECTRIC292016
VALLEY SOLAR292015
VELOCITY SOLAR POWER5172016
VERENGO181042014
VISION INSTALLATION11522015
VISION SOLAR7332016
VIVINT5042,6272017
WERNER & SONS122010
WEST COAST EXTERIORS232016
WEST COAST SOLAR7442016
WEST COAST SOLAR ENERGY1182015
WESTHAVEN211312016
WESTHAVEN SOLAR2102016
WHITE HOUSE SOLAR152016
WINK ELECTRICAL1112010
WIRED INTO THE FUTURE INC4232014
YOUR ENERGY SOLUTIONS8442016
YOUR ENERGY SOURCE242014

Solar panel lease companies in Fairfield

If you’re thinking about going with a solar lease or PPA, you should first read our guide to solar financing to make sure that you understand the pros and cons of a lease or PPA versus purchasing a system outright. In most cases, you will come out on top by buying your solar panels, even if that means taking out a loan.

That said, leases/PPAs continue to be popular, and they can be a good choice in some cases. There are several national solar installers that offer leases/PPAs, but not all of them operate in every state. Here’s a breakdown of some of the major solar installers that offer these types of contracts, and whether they operate in your state:

CompanyOperates in California ?
SungevityYES
SunnovaYES
SunrunYES
Vivint SolarYES

Looking for solar panel cleaning companies in Fairfield?

If you’re trying to find a local company that specializes in cleaning solar panels, you should know that it’s probably not worth the cost. For the vast majority of people, what you end up paying to a company to clean your solar array will never be recouped by the small increase you get in electricity generation. Instead, just let the rain keep your solar panels clean. Rain will do a good enough job for free. If you live in a dry and dusty area or frequently find bird poop or leaves on your panels, invest in some inexpensive equipment to take care of cleaning yourself. Read our guide to solar panel maintenance, which includes tips on solar panel cleaning and a some recommended cleaning equipment.

Contact solar companies in Fairfield

Want to work with one of these companies? We screen companies to make sure that you work with qualified installers. Use our service to get multiple quotes from quality Fairfield solar contractors.

Get quotes from solar installers in Fairfield



Average California electricity prices


Right now in California, the average price of residential electricity is about 18.31 cents per kilowatt hour. In comparison, the average price of electricity in the United States is about 13.34 cents per kWh.

This means that you are paying 37% more for electricity than the national average. That’s pretty expensive.

You’re probably not happy about that, so it makes sense to consider going solar.

Regardless of what your electricity prices are, by adding solar panels to your house and generating your own electricity, you’re locking in your cost of electricity for as long as your system is working, which will protect you from future rate increases by your utility. Given that many panels come with 25 year warranties, this is an investment that can last a long time.

Keep in mind that the price of electricity varies by utility, sometimes by a lot. The table below lists the average price of electricity for utilities in California state. For current rates, check with your utility.

Company# CustomersAvg Price (¢/kWh)
Aha Macav Power Service898.18
Anza Electric Coop Inc4,33817.93
Bear Valley Electric Service22,47027.71
City of Alameda30,81118.07
City of Anaheim - (CA)111,34716.52
City & County of San Francisco23817.00
City of Azusa14,66713.33
City of Banning - (CA)10,98520.18
City of Burbank Water and Power46,21516.51
City of Colton - (CA)16,66116.16
City of Corona - (CA)98615.59
City of Glendale - (CA)74,78319.96
City of Healdsburg - (CA)4,82317.13
City of Lodi - (CA)21,94017.48
City of Moreno Valley - (CA)5,57620.03
City of Lompoc - (CA)13,16515.55
City of Palo Alto - (CA)25,57914.28
City of Pasadena - (CA)55,76318.23
City of Redding - (CA)37,87816.76
City of Riverside - (CA)97,34716.12
City of Roseville - (CA)52,18115.54
City of Santa Clara - (CA)46,85912.27
City of Shasta Lake - (CA)4,16617.36
City of Ukiah - (CA)6,44913.62
City of Vernon7311.85
Imperial Irrigation District132,63212.93
Lassen Municipal Utility District9,03215.70
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power1,329,96816.65
Liberty Utilities42,32313.79
Merced Irrigation District7,41816.02
Modesto Irrigation District97,93517.81
PacifiCorp35,70413.88
Pacific Gas & Electric Co.3,998,18721.18
Sacramento Municipal Util Dist552,67814.06
San Diego Gas & Electric Co1,280,26422.09
Southern California Edison Co4,362,15016.60
Pittsburg Power Company34822.60
Plumas-Sierra Rural Elec Coop6,60618.58
Surprise Valley Electrification2,8258.79
Truckee Donner P U D12,23715.60
Turlock Irrigation District73,39316.01
Valley Electric Assn, Inc1213.11

Historical California electricity prices, 2008 to 2017


The average price of residential electricity in California, over the past ten years, is 15.86 cents per Kilowatt hour. This is 31% more than than the US average price of 12.07 cents per kWh. Because your state historically has had high electricity prices, there’s a good chance that prices will continue to be high in the future. This is a good argument for going solar.

Why is this important to know? Depending on the size of your system, owning home solar reduces or eliminates the effect of electricity price increases.


Historical California electricity prices (cents per kilowatt hour)

CA prices
US prices
2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
CA prices13.81¢14.74¢14.75¢14.78¢15.34¢16.23¢16.25¢16.99¢17.39¢18.31¢
US prices11.26¢11.51¢11.54¢11.72¢11.88¢12.13¢12.52¢12.65¢12.55¢12.89¢


By looking at the trend in electricity prices over the past decade, you can get a better idea of whether high or low prices in your state are a recent change, or part of a long term trend. Because solar panels last a really long time (most come with 25 year power warranties), going solar protects you from future changes in electricity price. Basically, by paying for a system now, you can lock in your cost of electricity for two or even three decades.



Environmental report for California electricity

Depending on the type of fuel they use, power plants produce differing amounts of air pollution. This is measured as units of pollution per megawatt hour (mWh) of electricity.

For every mWh of electricity generated, California power plants produce on average:

  • 216 kilograms of CO2, which is 53% less than the US average of 459 kg.
  • 7 grams of SO2, which is 98% less than the US average of 411 g.
  • 332 grams of NOx, which is 11% less than the US average of 373 g.

In the power generation estimate listed above, The Solar Nerd calculator determined that an unshaded, south-facing 6 kilowatt PV system would generate about 10,231 kWh in an average year.

This means that putting a 6 kW solar panel system on your house would prevent 2,210 kilograms of CO2, 72 grams of SO2, and 3,397 grams of NOx from being emitted into the atmosphere.

The carbon offset of these solar panels would be about equivalent to planting 128 trees every year! (One deciduous tree left to grow for 10 years offsets 17.2 kg of CO2, according to the EPA.)

CA state average electricity emissions
CA
US
Glossary:
CO2 is carbon dioxide and is a primary greenhouse gas.
SO2 is sulphur dioxide. It damages the human respiratory system and contributes to acid rain.
NOx refers to nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog, acid rain, and lung damage.


Calculate your home solar incentives for Fairfield

Use our calculator to determine the financial payback of a home solar systemand to get a solar performance estimate customized to your home, including federal, state, and local incentives.



Ready to go solar in Fairfield?

Use our free service to find qualified solar contractors and get multiple quotes on a solar panel installation in Buffalo.

Home solar quotes in Fairfield
Sources:
This report was prepared with data from the good people at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Data, the US Energy Information Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.